Corus solves bearing problem

18 January 2007

Corus Packaging Plus, Trostre Works, claims to have improved inspection and maintenance services with the aid of a design and manufacturing service from a bearing supplier.

The Welsh tin plate manufacturer approached Schaeffler Llanelli after experiencing bearing quality problems on its back-up leveller rolls.

Brendan O’Loughlin, manufacturing support engineer at Corus said: “We’ve got three main coating lines here, two for tin plating and one for chrome plating. These lines are the final stage in the production, after that the product goes out to the client, so the tension leveller is critical. The lines can run up to 500 metres per minute, so the bearings that support these are also critical.

“There’s lots of metal-to-metal contact and the loads on the bearings are quite high. Any premature bearing wear causes excess vibration, which in turn, can lead to surface indentations in the coated strip.”

Working with engineers at Schaeffler Llanelli, Corus changed its maintenance and inspection procedures on the back-up leveller rolls and bearings.

The company wanted to speak to someone local so problems could be explained and seen first-hand. O’Loughlin claims the bearings are now lasting longer and that the refurbished bearings are more cost effective.

Schaeffler takes all the special purpose cylindrical, deep grove needle roller bearings from Corus Trostre, to check whether they can be refurbished. If the bearings can be repaired, they are re-machined, re-greased and the end caps sealed. The bearings have a 47mm diameter and are 145mm in length.

Paul Gibbons, regional sales engineer at Schaeffler UK, said: “Corus Trostre is now sending 210 bearings to our Llanelli plant for refurbishment, twice a year. They are paying half the price they would for a new bearing replacement.”

He added: “Corus Trostre has also asked us to supply some round shafts that are also fitted to the leveller rolls, so this is another knock-on benefit for us.”

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